Engels PSA

Engels, Friedrich. The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844. London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1892.

Written by Friedrich Engels, this primary source describes the horrid living conditions factory workers had to endure during the English industrial revolution. Engels was a German social scientist who had Marxist beliefs, which means he supported the idea that all people have similar rights, and that there should be no lower class citizens. During a visit to England, he wrote this detailed book on the terrible conditions that the English working class had to live in. Although the book did not have much effect right at the time it was published, Engels gave historians in the future an excellent description of the work conditions. The document gives vivid accounts of what workers had to live with, including their disgusting walk to the factories. The writing talks about how everyday they had to walk through areas filled with the stench of animal waste, as well as pass a river so dirty it ran black and filled with trash. Engels also writes of the houses themselves, which barely had enough space for a simple bed and table. Although it is reputable, one limitation of this document is it only describes the conditions of factor living space’s in Manchester. Engels is trying to spread awareness of the horrid working conditions in hopes of change.

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